Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stronger by the Week

As I did with Josh 2 years ago, Renee and I had the pleasure of building her volcano for her school project. She is so much more artistic and creative then me so all I did was ensure she had a strong base to work from and what ever supplies she needed to support her vision. All we needed was a coke bottle, shipping Styrofoam, crack sealer insulation (foam in a bottle), aluminum foil, paint, snow in a can, food coloring, baking soda, and vinegar. The volcano turned out great, but the best part was spending quality time with her and watching her imagination come to fruition. She gets to present it to her class and make it erupt. I don’t remember having this much fun in school, but I get to through my children’s eyes.

Then we had the Dessert Theater fundraiser which both of my kids participated in the symphony (Josh with red tie and Renee playing the flute). We heard the symphony, watched some drama scenes, and participated in some awesome desserts.

As for training – I had another successful week with 70 miles for total distance and feeling strong. The beginning of the week I pushed it hard on the stepper, elliptical, and bike. It’s funny because when I get down with these machines I’m a puddle of sweat and everything around me ends up wet. I look at the guy / gal next to me and their still dry with few signs they’ve even done anything. They must think I’m crazy! I got in 3 evenings of solid weight training, getting stronger each session, and keeping my weight down (don’t want to bulk-up which comes easy for me). My middle of the week tempo run was truly amazing. My plan was to warm-up for the first mile, run the next 6 at 10K pace, and cruse in for the remaining 3. The legs felt strong, breathing normal, HR varying between 160-165 bpm, and just could not slow myself down after 7 miles into it because I felt so good. I ended up running the 10 hilly miles at a 7:19 pace and still had more in the tank. My turnover rate feels faster without redlining my heart rate, and yet it feels comfortable. It may have been just one of those freaky days, or the changes I’ve made with my training plan is starting to pay off. Time will tell!

Saturday was the first of two back-to-back long runs for the week and my son Josh took me out to the Augusta State University's cross country course which is a 3 mile trail with a series of short but steep hills. Josh ran the first lap with me and then returned to the truck to work on weekend homework and get some reading done. It was a beautiful course and worth the 30 minute drive. After about 3 hours of running, the legs felt good and not used up. If it wasn’t getting dark (didn’t bring lights), I could have gone for a few more laps, but also had to remember I get to do this again tomorrow.

Sunday was another long run but this time I made it a night run at Fort Gordon. After waiting for the wife and kids to start winding down their evening (don’t want to take away from our time together), I went out to the 3 mile loop dirt track with streetlights, and some good jams, to start my 2nd consecutive long run. Stars filled the dark sky, a comfortable 52 degrees, and the legs felt better then I thought they would after all that running on a hilly trail. In fact, I never felt better after 24 miles, as my stride fell into a comfortable and steady rhythm. I wasn’t struggling nor was I pushing it, like everything was aligned and in sync. I ran another loop to make it 27 miles for the night, and maintained my goal of keeping my pace consistent the entire time. One more hard week before I get a recovery week. BTW – The Hammer Perpetuem Caffe Latte flavor with 270 calories, 54g of carbs, and 25mg of caffeine works good for me on long runs. I’m not big on Hammer products, but this does well for me.


lindsay said...

WOW - your training! impressive. i think i'll be saying that a lot though! i was wondering how you squeeze in 70 mpw + family + work - i'm assuming early mornings, lunches, and like you mentioned later in the evenings?

excellent week!

Jeri said...

Great pics of the trail. I looooove this time of year :)

Anonymous said...

It's always a gift when the stride becomes all natural after that many miles.

And I thought the volcano was chocolate cake!!!!!Yummy!!!!